Don’t Waste Your Life Sitting In A Pew
It’s a conversation that will resonate with me for a long time.
I had just moved back to Iowa after spending a few years in Kansas City. During my time in Kansas City I had been infected with a vision of Christianity as an organic lifestyle lived out with a spiritual family. Moving back to Iowa had been a step of obedience for me and my girlfriend (now wife) because we were leaving a group of people who were pursuing something near and dear to my heart.
I had a friend who also happened to be my pastor in Kansas City. He was a year older than me but he always felt 100 years older than me because of the amount of wisdom and experience he walked in. I was expressing to him the conflict inside of me about whether to permanently plug into our old church that we were part of or to pursue the dream God had infected me with during my years in Kansas City. He looked at me and said something that changed the trajectory of the rest of my life:
“Whatever you do, don’t waste your life just sitting in a pew.”
That statement resonated with me in a way I didn’t expect it to resonate. He didn’t give me a direction. He didn’t tell me what to do. But what he said was wisdom. Don’t spend the rest of your life being a spectator, consuming what is given from a pulpit but never putting it into practice.
We do that so easily. It’s so easy to get comfortable where we are at with good sermons, godly people, great worship, and a thriving church. It’s easy to consume all of that stuff and feel like we are part of something great. It’s harder to go where the Gospel isn’t, share it with people who may or may not respond, and be a part of starting something that could affect people for generations or come to nothing.
These words launched me into organic church planting. But they could be said both of traditional churches and organic churches alike. Just change out pews for couches. The point is we shouldn’t be content just to consume our church life. We have to mature into people of faith who participate in what God is doing, not just observe it.
I get it. There are some people who need to stay where they are in the season that they’re in. If that’s you, great. But the church, organic or traditional, is full of people who should be advancing the mission and serving others instead of sitting around watching.
So I say to unto you the same thing that was said to me: “Don’t waste your life sitting in a pew.”
Or, maybe a better way to say it is “I want you to plant a house church.”
Related: Wasting Your Life on Seashells